Prequels

Though Idiocracy was a bit too uneven to be the Office Space followup that fans of Mike Judge were hoping for, it was full of enough funny concepts that it’s gradually built up a cult following of its own, nonetheless. When Idiocracy first hit theaters, Fox gave it a paltry seven city release and almost no promotion, and seeing as this was well before the days of simultaneous theater and VOD distribution, the film initially came and went without too many people being aware of it at all. But six years of gradual growth in awareness due to word of mouth recommendations means that, these days, if one were to make casual reference to Idiocracy gags like “Ow My Balls!” or “Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator,” chances are a couple people in the room are going to know what they’re talking about. One of the most memorable parts of Judge’s bleak look at our increasing stupidity was the man who becomes the President in this future world, former porn star and professional wrestler Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. It turns out that not only have comedy fans kept a place for Camacho in their hearts over this last half-decade, but so has the actor who portrayed him, Terry Crews.

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Gary Ross shocked the world by directing one of the year’s most wildly successful films, The Hunger Games, and then opting out of coming back and making its sequel. What could he possibly have to do that’s more important than making another bajillion dollars by directing Jennifer Lawrence shooting arrows at people? So far, we’re not exactly sure. He’s become attached to a biopic about the life of famed magician Houdini, but there’s no concrete word whether or not that’s actually going to be his next job. And now another possibility has popped up. THR is reporting that the director is currently in talks to helm an adaptation of the children’s novel “Peter and the Starcatchers” over at Disney. The book, which was written by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson and has already been adapted into a successful (it won five Tonys!) stage production, is a Peter Pan prequel that tells the story of Peter and a girl named Molly going off on an adventure that involves the keeping of a trunk filled with magical starstuff out of the clutches of the evil pirate Black Stache (so called because of his back mustache, who knows what he’d be called if he got his own boat and had his hand replaced by a hook…). A screenwriter by the name of Jesse Wigutow is said to be penning the adaptation.

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Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior

It seems like studios and filmmakers alike are trying to distance themselves from the terms “sequel” and “prequel,” despite a filmmaking world that’s seeing more of the damned things. Maybe they can sense a slight backlash against franchising, but instead of seeking original material, they’re more interested in pretending they’re not making what they’re making. Whatever the case, the most recent distancing comes from Charlize Theron, the star of the Alien prequel Prometheus and the forthcoming Mad Max: Fury Road – a project that’s been in the works for quite some time. According to Screen Rant, she’s prepping to travel to Namibia to begin shooting, but the movie is neither a prequel nor a sequel. “Like with ‘Snow White And The Huntsman,’ there is so much potential to re-imagine that world. It’s such an interesting world and how much it still resonates today after 20 years or whatever it’s been. We’re going back to that world but this is not a prequel or sequel or anything like that.” So, it’s what? A spin-off? There’s no real need to get hung up on labels, but this is getting ridiculous. You cannot make a movie called Mad Max 4 and it not be a sequel. Or a prequel. A re-imagining? Come on. We just got over the moronic “DNA” idea behind Prometheus, but when you’re going back to the well, could you just say so? Thanks.

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Everybody remembers the 2002 horror film Cabin Fever; it was the movie that made you fall either in love or hate with Eli Roth. And it was a movie about a bunch of kids in a cabin who get stricken with a very violent and rapidly spreading flesh-eating virus. That’s all well and good, but have you ever felt like the original Cabin Fever was just scratching the surface of what the disease-ridden world it created had to offer? No? Well, somebody did, and that’s why there’s a prequel in the works. Sure, watching a bunch of attractive young people get eaten alive by a gruesome disease is fun times, but haven’t you ever wondered what really made that virus tick? Where did it come from, and what was its motivation? Jake Wade Wall (The Hitcher) has written a script entitled Cabin in the Woods: Patient Zero that’s sure to answer all of these burning questions and more. It tells the tale of a Caribbean cruise that runs aground on a research island. One can only assume that the thing being researched there is horrible diseases, because soon after the shipwreck, the passengers of said ship find themselves falling ill and fighting for survival. It kind of sounds like a cross between the original film and Lost, which is a concept that probably has some box office potential.

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Drinking Games

The rumored-about, questioned and criticized prequel to John Carpenter’s classic 1982 horror flick The Thing has come and gone. Now, it’s coming again, this week to DVD and Blu-ray. The flick tells the story behind the Norwegian outpost in Antarctica, chronicling the first people to dig the Thing out of the ice. Fans of the Carpenter classic will complain about the overuse of CGI and the pointlessness of the new film, but they may also find some likeable moments if they look hard enough. If not, they can always play this game and knock back a few glasses of Ringnes beer or whatever else they drink in Norway.

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The holidays are over now, so it’s back to business as usual in the movie blogging world. You know what that means: freaking out about prequels and remakes. Thankfully for us, some new reasons for worry have come down the pike via a chat The Playlist had with Alcon Entertainment producer Andrew Kosove. After talking a bit about the progress he’s having bringing the Black List script Prisoners to the big screen, he also had some stuff to say about Ridley Scott’s new Blade Runner project and the proposed Point Break remake that has been floating around. Is it looking like they’re really going to happen? About Scott’s enthusiasm for the new Blade Runner, Kosove said, “Here’s the thing about Ridley. Ridley is a special guy. He’s a force of nature. He’s got a lot of stuff that he’s working on. I believe it’s an extremely high priority for Ridley, that’s what he’s said to me. This project is moving forward aggressively in development.” Look at those words he’s using, high priority, aggressive, sounds like this thing is developing pretty fast. Or is it? The next few words out of his mouth don’t sound so confident. He went on to say, “Sometime in the first two months of the new year we’ll announce who the screenwriter will be and whether or not it’s a prequel or sequel. And then we’ll be off to the races.” They don’t even have a screenwriter or know if it’s going to be a sequel […]

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After successfully bulking up enough to trade blows and dialogue with Tom Hardy in the recent fight film Warrior, Australian actor Joel Edgerton has proven that he can pretty much do anything. And after starring in another recent, high profile Hollywood film, the remake of The Thing, he has shown that he’s an actor whose star power is on the rise. So it makes sense to me that Warner Bros. and director Noam Murro would be looking at him to fill Gerard Butler’s shoes as the star of a 300 movie. According to Vulture, Edgerton is in talks to join Murro’s 300 sequel/prequel Battle of Artemisia as the lead badass Themistocles. Themistocles was an Athenian general and politician who is mostly remembered for leading the Athenian Navy in a successful campaign to beat back a Persian invasion. After his military exploits, he stuck around Athens as a bigwig politician, but eventually rubbed a lot of people the wrong way because of his arrogance. Also, he rubbed the Spartans the wrong way because of his insistence that Athens be refortified. Once he was eventually ostracized from Athens, he had nowhere else to go in Greece – he had pissed pretty much everyone off. What choice did that leave him? It meant that, in a stunning bit of irony, he had to flee to Persia and work in service of their king.

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As a woman, there are certain things I am expected to always want – chocolate, shoes, bad boys, and more Sex and the City. As a human being with eyes, ears, a heart, and passable taste, there is one thing I will never want – more Sex and the City. The seminal HBO series, based on Candace Bushnell’s book of the same name, ran for six years and ninety-four episodes. It is single-handedly responsible for the unearned fame of a bad cupcake place in the Village, the use of the term “Post-It breakup” in pop culture vernacular, and the predilection of some women to get drunk on pink vodka-based beverages and scream that they are “a Carrie!” or “a Charlotte!” or “a Samantha, hahaha, because I am a skank!” It was a movement, people, its own cultural zeitgeist. It spawned two feature films, the second of which was so poorly received critically that it essentially stopped any and all plans for a third film (if we are lucky enough).

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as TheManFromWaco andTeenWlf2 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the pair questions what separates the wheat from the shit when it comes to reboots, prequels and movies capitalizing on name recognition in order to get ahead in the marketing game. What makes a prequel great? How can a reboot really succeed?

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It’s long been rumored that Orlando Bloom would be reprising his role as the elf Legolas for Peter Jackson’s upcoming two-parter The Hobbit. Giving the whispers, a lot of people have been quick to point out that Bloom coming back wouldn’t make any sense, as Legolas appears nowhere in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel. Regardless of mutterings from the purists, the news is now official, as Jackson has used his Facebook Page to confirm: “Ten years ago, Orlando Bloom created an iconic character with his portrayal of Legolas. I’m excited to announce today that we’ll be revisiting Middle Earth with him once more. I’m thrilled to be working with Orlando again. Funny thing is, I look older — and he doesn’t! I guess that’s why he makes such a wonderful elf.” When you add this news to the fact that Ian Holm is also confirmed to show up somewhere in this production as Bilbo (who will also be played by Martin Freeman), it becomes clear that Jackson’s films are going to link The Hobbit with The Lord of the Rings trilogy much more closely than Tolkien’s books did. What we’re going to see will either have to be a flashback structure where the characters we met in the first three films are looking back on the events of The Hobbit, or new material that will create a bridge between the two stories.

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Remember when X-Men: The Last Stand had to be haphazardly thrown together because Fox and Bryan Singer had some sort of disagreement on the scheduling, so then he left to make Superman Returns instead, and Fox got Brett Ratner to jump in for a quick fix on The Last Stand, and then they both turned out to be pretty lame? Long story, but it happened, swear to God. And even worse, they made another franchise prequel after The Last Stand called X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and it ended up being an even bigger mess, had a bunch of horrible takes on new characters like Deadpool, and seemed sure to be the death knell of the entire X-Men franchise. And this came after they called one of the movies The Last Stand. Remember that? Fox did, because instead of continuing on with that series of films, they totally recast the roles, totally rebooted the story, and have made Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. Probably we’ll have to see if audiences are receptive of this new reboot to see if there will be more X-Men movies, right? Right? Nope, the new issue of Empire Magazine, which sports several X-Men: First Class themed covers, has some quotes about the upcoming direction the franchise is going to take. Apparently I was wrong in thinking The Last Stand needed a reboot, or that it was some sort of last stand, because sequels to that film are in the works. Longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner is […]

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Alcon Entertainment has announced that they are in final negotiations to acquire the rights to the world of Blade Runner and elements from the short story that inspired the film, Phillip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” With these rights they could make any number of sequels, prequels, or spinoffs of the 1982 classic. I can hear groans in the back of the room already, but one thing that Alcon producers would not be allowed to do is the dreaded straight remake, and as a matter of fact company co-founder Broderick Johnson says, “we never would want to remake it”. I’m not sure if he can be trusted though, if I were ever to write a screenplay for some sort of college comedy I would probably name the jerk head of the jock fraternity Broderick Johnson. He may be setting us all up for one big cinematic wedgie. But taken at face value, all of the quotes coming out of the Alcon camp are saying all of the right things. They seem to be focusing less on the marketing potential of a potential franchise and more on the storytelling potential of Blade Runner’s rich mythology. Co-founder Andrew Kosove explained to 24 Frames, “The risk is not just getting a movie made but coming up with a story that really justifies coming back to one of the great science-fiction stories.”

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It’s been common and unfortunate knowledge for a few years that a remake of John Carpenter’s classic, The Thing, was in development somewhere in Hollywood. Since that initial announcement there’s been nothing new to report. Until now.

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